The Atlantic Daily: Americans Are Reimagining Work

The quitting is just the beginning: The pandemic is transforming our relationships to our jobs.

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Getty; Adam Maida / The Atlantic

This holiday party season will not be a normal one. But if it were, employees would have plenty to gossip about. Although most Americans are working in the office, they are battling burnout or quitting altogether.

The pandemic opened up a fundamental conversation about how we work, why we work, and what it means to work together. The Great Resignation is just one manifestation of this.

  • We may be in a trust recession. “The physical separation of colleagues has clearly taken a toll, and the effects of a long bout of remote work may linger,” Jerry Useem writes in our December issue.

  • The Great Resignation is also the Great Reset. The pandemic prompted a reexamination of the “basic terms of employment,” Derek Thompson argued earlier this fall.

  • Maybe we should care less about work anyway. “The pandemic has created an opportunity to reconsider and reimagine the structure of our lives and, perhaps, remove the vestigial, extractive elements,” Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen write. In other words: Get a hobby—a real one.


The news in three sentences:

(1) President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for two hours amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. (2) The United States is approaching 50 million total reported coronavirus cases. (3) The former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows stopped cooperating with the congressional January 6 committee.

Today’s Atlantic-approved activity:

To improve your happiness, learn to accept what you cannot change.

A break from the news:

A quarter century after a mysterious mass die-off of bald eagles in Arkansas, we finally have answers.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.